Vladimir Tkachev picked up two assists last night, and instantly his hype reached unhealthy levels. Have Oilers fans not learned from the past? I recall many fans and some media blaming Craig MacTavish for holding Rob Schremp back. The Oilers also held back Linus Omark in the eyes of many.
In both cases the players were over-hyped due to their offensive exploits in junior or on YouTube, and after they left Edmonton people realized that the Oilers hadn’t held back their talents. Their talents just weren’t good enough to be NHL players.
Please don’t do the same for Tkachev, the kid doesn’t deserve it.
Tkachev is the new shiny toy in Oilersnation right now. The 141 pounder has become the toast of the town, but I’ve already seen incredible overvaluations of his talent and potential. He turns 19 on October 5th, and he currently stands 5’8″ and 141 pounds. Being that small is a major issue.
How much do you think he will grow over the next three years? If he adds 20 pounds, he would be increasing his weight by just over 14%. If he gains 30 then we are talking an additional 21% of his current weight. That is a significant amount in a short period of time.
Many want to look at best case scenario, and 30 pounds is the best case. He has a slight frame. He is not stocky like Marty St.Louis, so comparing the two isn’t accurate because their body configurations are incrediblly different.
Those are St. Louis’ legs. He has a freakishly strong lower body, which allows him to compete against NHL defenders.
— Spencer Murray (@SpencerKM) September 25, 2014
I said prior to last night’s game that I would sign Tkachev. He would get the standard three-year ELC. The benefit to the Oilers is that he still has two years of junior eligibility. They can send him back for two more years and the only time he counts as one of their 50 contracts is between July 1st and Sept 30th, or whenever he gets sent down.
The only tough negotiating point for his agent and the Oilers should be determining his base NHL salary, and even that can’t be that hard. The Oilers could give him the AHL max, and likely will because he would have KHL options, and a few performance bonuses, but he does not deserve close to the max salary.
Greg Chase (7th round pick) got $745,000 on his new ELC deal. He has $232,500 of performance bonuses in year one, $182,500 in his second year and $122,500 in his third. He had 85 points in the WHL last year and he is 6’0″ and 189 pounds right now. Is Tkachev suddenly a better prospect? Nope.
Bogdan Yakimov’s (3rd rounder) base salary is $842,00. Mitch Moroz (2nd rounder) has $875,000.
@JasonGregor He came over mid year 30P in 20G. Oilers could pay him $925K to prevent loss of asset to another team or draft re entry.
— MPol (@WhatsInAJeffrey) September 25, 2014
Is Tkachev suddenly more valuable than Yakimov, who has four goals in five games between rookie camp, U of A Bears and NHL preseason? Hardly. Is he ahead of Moroz on the organizational depth chart, based on 20 junior games and a rookie camp? Not in my books.
Yet, last night after his two-assist game many on twitter were suggesting the Oilers have to give him $900,000 because he is a free agent and has options.
His option is that he can spur the Oilers and become draft eligible next year. He might score 100+points in the QMJHL. He likely will play for Russia at the World Juniors, so even if he kept up his 1.5 points-per-game pace of last season, he still would only be at 90 points if he plays 60 games. The Q only plays 68 games, and he’d miss some due to WJC.
If he does score 90-110, will he be a first round pick? Very doubtful, due to his size.
When he was 17, Nic Petan scored 46-74-120 in 71 games for Portland in the WHL. He turned 18 a month before the 2013 draft and he was taken 43rd overall by the Jets. He was 5’9″ and 170 pounds.
He then scored 35-78-113 when he was 18 and he signed an ELC with the Jets. In the first year of his deal his base salary was $692,500, year two was 842,500 and year three was 832,500. His max performance bonus is $232,500.
His Portland teammate, Brandon Leipsic, is also on the smaller side standing 5’10” and 175 pounds. He was drafted in the third round in 2012 by the Predators. He scored 49-71-120 in 68 games the year after he was drafted and at the end of that season he signed a three-year ELC.
His base salary was 642,500 in year one, 692,500 in year two and 625,500 and his max performance bonus was $282,500.
Those guys were excellent junior players and produced huge points, but their lack of size was, and still is, a concern. Tkachev is currently 30 pounds lighter than both of them. Leipsic averaged 1.76 points-per-game when he was 18, so the suggestion that Tkachev’s offensive potential means he deserves close to the max salary is flat out incorrect.
Those are just two examples, but you can find many more small, skilled players who weren’t given the max salary, mainly because of the fact they will have a harder time succeeding in the NHL.
— Cody Williams (@Cody_Williams10) September 25, 2014
Tkachev is in a very unique category. Very few 18-year-old players who weren’t drafted are then signed later in that off-season. However, we do have a very recent comparable.
Last summer, Sergey Tolchinsky wasn’t drafted, but the Carolina Hurricanes signed the diminutive forward to a three-year ELC deal after he attended their prospects camp. He is now listed at 5’8″ and is 165 pounds on the Hurricanes website.
He received $600,000 in the first two years of the deal and $575,000 in the third. He doesn’t have any performance bonuses in his contract. He played junior last year, after signing, and will be back in junior this season. He had 91 points in 66 games in the OHL this past year.
We need to stop overrating players or believing they will be the next savior. Tkachev is highly skilled, and he’s worth signing to an entry-level deal, but the Oilers don’t need to overpay him. There is no reason to.
How many inches will be grow after the age of 19? How much weight can he put on that small of a frame and still be agile on the ice? His body type is a concern.
Schremp was a 1st round pick, Omark was a 4th and Tkachev wasn’t even drafted, yet the expectations of what he can become are already on par with the overzealous prognostications of Schremp and Omark.
There is absolutely no reason the Oilers should give him anywhere close to the rookie maximum deal.
They should sign him, and then send him back to junior and let him develop.
We’ve all seen what happens in Edmonton when you over-hype and over-rate a player. Tkachev doesn’t deserve the same scrutiny.
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