This is the grind time, ladies and gents. We know the target—sedated for McDavid. The Edmonton Oilers sent a clear message to the fanbase with the David Perron trade: The winning starts next season (promise) (probably)!
Draisaitl assigned to The CHL, trade certainly coming in next day or two.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 4, 2015
And with that young Leon is in limbo until a trade can be worked out and after that he should romp through the rest of the WHL season. The final final on Leon is that he clearly has some very nice things and his underlying (advanced) numbers were solid to good for such a young player in an important position.
LEON DRAISAITL IN A BOX 2014-15
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.05 (9th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 1.76 (6th among regular PP forwards)
- Corsi For 5×5 %: 52.1
- Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (3rd line opp)
- Qual Team: 10th best teammates among regular forwards (3rd-4th line)
- Corsi Rel: 3.0 (7th best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 78.8% (easiest among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 49/4%
- Boxcars: 37gp, 2-7-9 (projects to 80gp, 4-15-19 via The Hockey News)
The reasons to send him down are twofold: He can dominate and develop at a level that offers him both a challenge and an opportunity to play heavy minutes; and the Oilers can control his career for an extra season.
Solid decision by the Edmonton Oilers.
BACK TO THE FUTURE!
— BarDown (@BarDown) January 3, 2015
Once the Perron trade went down, and really before, the focus of Edmonton’s management (and fans, whether we like it or not) turns to the 2015 draft and Connor McDavid.
ISS Scouting Director Dennis MacInnins: “Having the chance to scout Sidney Crosby at the
same age, McDavid is even more impressive, true superstar potential.” Source
Does it mean the Oilers will win starting this fall? No. Does it mean Connor McDavid is that much better than Hall and Nuge? The numbers suggest he is a generational talent, a once in a lifetime type for any franchise—which is silly for Oilers fans but you get the point. He’s damn good’s damn good.
JEFF PETRY TO THE WAITING ROOM!
The stories for the rest of this season are going to be about trades out of town and the future as some kind of ideal. Now, you and I know that Taylor Hall is in his fifth season and the Oilers do too, but the New Originals Oilers we’ll see in the fall will have a lot of new faces.
Why are they trading Jeff Petry? I don’t know, folks. I’ve railed for years about the wisdom of flushing useful players who have issues (real or imagined) but Oilers’ management seems to agree with many fans about Petry (Elliotte Friedman mentioned Petry as a likely trade piece last night on HNIC).
WHAT ABOUT THE GAME?
Today’s game does offer fans a chance to cheer like hell for the home side and the brilliant kids (Hall, Nuge, Eberle) while perhaps rededicating ourselves to the idea that Justin Schultz can be productive in the NHL. He has (to my eye) been better lately and his possession numbers are reasonable this season.
LAST 10 GAMES
Instead of having me rant about the disappointing numbers, I’d like to ask you a question: How many of these men would you bring back next season? That’s the question Craig MacTavish asked himself after firing Dallas Eakins and he went for a closer look.
Since then, he’s sent down or away Steve Pinizzotto, Brad Hunt, Mark Arcobello, David Perron and (now) Leon Draisaitl; he’s added Derek Roy, Matt Fraser and now Rob Klinkhammer. Plus coach Nelson, who is 1-0-2 so far without MacT and may be the single biggest hurdle in the McDavid sweepstakes (why in HELL is he winning against LAK and getting points in all the games?).
The project lineups for tonight:
Find the Islanders lineups at DailyFaceoff.
- The Oilers should have a reasonable checking line with Gordon—Klinkhammer—Hendricks, that looks like pure MacT to me.
- I know there are lots of people who didn’t like the Benoit Pouliot signing, but for me he’s a big body who can score some goals and crash and bang. I’m glad he’s back.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
- John Tavares is on target for 36 goals and 36 assists, and the goal total
would be a career high for the Islanders’ captain. Eleven months ago, he
was on pace for 33 goals and the best year of his career when a knee
injury suffered during the Sochi Olympics prematurely ended his season. Source
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Islanders come out and establish themselves early with two quick goals. The two sides exchange tallies in the second and third and the final reads 4-2 NY Islanders.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fans chant “Klinkhammer!” after he scores his first Oilers goal tonight. It begins a long and fruitful relationship for player and fans.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers play the game in front of scouts from Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles and the Oakland Raiders.