HEY LEON!

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, we were talking about the ‘Deutschland Dangler’ and the possibility of a big, skill center finally playing for the Edmonton Oilers. These months later? Sedated for McDavid?

Not so fast. Leon Draisaitl is writing an impressive story in junior.

Man it’s easy to forget about a player when he’s sent out. Leon Draisaitl had two assists for the Oilers on December 31st against Calgary and was sent away soonafter. That’s fewer than 70 days ago and honestly except for a few morsels of information we don’t really know how he’s doing. Let’s have a look.

LEON, BY MONTH!

  • January 2015: 11GP, 7-10-17 (1.55 points-per-game)
  • February 2015: 12GP, 7-13-20 (1.67 points-per-game)
  • March 2015: 3GP, 2-4-6 (2.00 points-per-game)

Buddy is officially kicking ass as we head toward spring. His numbers last year (64GP, 38-67-105 1.64ppg) and this (26GP, 16-27-43 1.65 ppg) are identical but Leon should eclipse 2013-14 by season’s end (he’s trending that way).

LEON, EVEN STRENGTH

  • 2013-14: 64GP, 25-37-62 .969 points-per-game
  • 2014-15: 26GP, 10-17-27 1.04 points-per-game

At even strength, Leon has improved slightly year over year and he’s finding the range in recent weeks. In his last 11 games, LD is 9-14-23 (2.09ppg) and things are looking up for the native of Cologne, Germany.

    Bylsma is a guest coach for the Kelowna Rockets, so no news on that front. However, Serdachny’s presence in Kelowna should be viewed as a good thing—Leon needs to work on his skating, as almost all big men do—and the organization’s continued attention to Draisaitl is an encouraging sign.

    Since he left Edmonton, the Oilers continued to be a poor team and there’s every chance we’ll see another lottery pick again this summer. Three of the top five are centers (McDavid, Eichel, Strome) and it could mean Leon spends a season in the AHL. There’s also talk of signing Derek Roy and some believe that will keep the big German on the farm. 

    funny gifs

    WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

    I think Leon has every chance to make the Oilers in the fall. If Edmonton drafts McDavid or Eichel all bets are off. However, if Strome is the pick, chances are he’ll head back to junior and the ‘Deutschland Dangler’ spends another fall in our city. He could make it as a LW and eventually force a (signed) Derek Roy down the depth chart. 

    • Bob Cobb

      I’m curious to see what Nelson can get out of Drai. Something tells me iunder Eakins the kid, like everyone on the team, was so damn worries about making a mistake, they forgot what made them get selected so high in the first place.

      Still, I would prefer they sign Roy, and put Leon down on the farm to start the year.

      Start with, as Yak said, the same lines so everyone knows where to go.

      I would look at putting him on the third line LW, but I don’t see how a line of Drai, Lander, Purcell, is going to help his development.

      Instead send him to the farm and let him play on a line with Yakimov and Shepelshev. See if they all can’t elevate their games together.

    • Tikkanese

      @LT I don’t understand the excitement of this article.

      He’s on the exact same PPG pace as last season. Last season he was on a terrible team. Now he’s on an incredibly stacked Kelowna team yet isn’t producing at a greater rate other than the last 3GP. I would think there would be more cause for concern than for excitement.

    • SSB1963

      It doesn’t matter what Leon or Sam does in junior. Its what and how much they will be able to help their NHL team.

      I prefer Leon because he is a bigger body and can handle the rigorous Western conference big center man. Already we know sam can’t handle it. One major surgery already.