Jujhar Khaira played in his first NHL game last night, overcoming incredible odds and fulfilling a dream of many Canadian kids. What’s next? More, please.
— Eric Rodgers (@ericrsports) November 17, 2015
3RD ROUND PICK MAKES IT TO THE SHOW
This century, the Edmonton Oilers haven’t had many hits in the third round of the annual entry draft:
- 2000 D Alexander Ljubimov
- 2001 D Kenny Smith
- 2002 L Brock Radunske
- 2003 F Mikhail Zhukov
- 2003 R Zack Stortini (257 NHL games)
- 2005 D Danny Syvret (59 NHL games)
- 2005 F Robby Dee
- 2006 D Theo Peckham (160 NHL games)
- 2009 D Troy Hesketh
- 2009 R Cameron Abney
- 2010 C Ryan Martindale
- 2011 G Samu Perhonen
- 2011 C Travis Ewanyk
- 2012 F Jujhar Khaira (1 NHL game)
- 2012 L Daniil Zharkov
- 2013 C Bogdan Yakimov (1 NHL game)
- 2013 L Anton Slepyshev (11 NHL games)
I’ve always felt the criticisms leveled at the Oilers for their
second-round selections applied far better when dealing with the third
round. Whereas the second round had injuries and draft for need issues,
the third round for Edmonton has been wingnut central for a decade
(although the Craig MacTavish era improved things). Scott Cullen ran the numbers awhile back and estimates a third round selection has a 27.3 percent chance of playing in 100 NHL games. Source
What does that mean? Well, all picks pack their own odds, but with 17 selections in the round and a 27 percent of a player getting into 100 NHL games, having only two qualify seems a tad low. Fair? If Khaira, Slepyshev and Yakimov eventually make it, maybe we’ll look back on the third round more fondly in the distant future.
COMMENTS ABOUT KHAIRA OVER THE YEARS
Redline: we believe this kid could be the
biggest/best sleeper of the entire draft. Prince George is so far off
the beaten path teams don’t even travel there for WHL games, much less
BCHL contests, so he gets zero exposure. But this kid is big, mean,
aggressive, nasty, and guess what… he can score too. Does the dirty work
in the corners, bangs bodies and wins battles, and loves to initiate
heavy contact. Powerful stride with great balance and gets leverage on
his hits. Has surprisingly soft hands and puck skills with playmaking
ability. Creates lots of space for smaller teammates and makes everyone
braver. Very raw defensively.
Todd Nelson: “I noticed a drastic change at
this development camp. He’s improving every time I see him, and after
seeing his brothers, if everything goes as planned, he’s going to fill
Kevin McCartney: Khaira
was one of the few Oilers who was generating offence from down low. He
drove the net, banged bodies to win pucks, and generally caused havoc
for the Calgary defenders. It was obvious he’s a prospect of interest.
He did, however, over-pursue the puck at times and was left stranded on
plays in which Calgary was able to move the puck off their end wall. He
may be used to hockey in which his physical skills are superior to those
around him, or perhaps his college team played an offensive system in
which the centre went low. In either case, his defensive coverage in
transition was non-existent. Once the Flames had their half-court
established, Khaira continued to over-pursue all the way to the side
Bill Muckalt, Michigan Tech asst coach: “We see
him as a big time power forward. He skates really well, very good down
low, strong on the puck, has good vision and great offensive instincts. I
think he has a lot of potential to be a pro hockey player.”
- Khaira: “I think I could be a big asset in the offensive zone, holding guys off behind the zone and be a good two-way forward.”
jujhar khaira is set to make his NHL debut tonight on the left wing of anton lander and iiro the hero. he’ll wear #54.
— Jeff Chapman (@NewWaveOil) November 28, 2015
Props to the duster on Jujhar Khaira. *tips cap* -bm
— OilersNation (@OilersNation) November 29, 2015
Jujhar Khaira will get the game winning goal tonight. #HiddenTalent
— #InJujharWeTrust (@RealKRon) November 28, 2015
HIS FIRST NHL GAME
- First period: 3:24, all at evens, one hit, fairly uneventful. Did get a mention on National Saturday broadcast and that’s pretty cool.
- Second period: Had a noticeable shift in the second, where he tipped the puck before center and EDM was called for icing. Mike Johnson mentioned it was first game and identified the error. Khaira then finished the shift with a nice sortie into the offensive zone.
- Second period: Two more solid shifts with Anton Lander, including a nice pass to the Swede and he got a shot off. Solid second period, getting more usage.
- Second period: 4:01, for a total of 7:25. Very good second period, I know many don’t like possession stats but he’s 6-6 50 per cent through two.
- Third period: MEMORABLE moment in front of Pittsburgh net when he intercepted a pass and got a great chance on goal. Fabulous play. I believe that was his first NHL shot on goal. Impressive.
- After three: 13-9 59% in possession. That’s crazy good. Seriously. 10:02 overall, that’s a pretty solid effort.
- One shot, three hits, one block.
Welcome to the NHL, Jujhar!
It took one day longer than we wanted but that only added to the excitement of seeing our alumni make his NHL… https://t.co/JWDsfZd9f4
— Spruce Kings (@SpruceKings) November 29, 2015
jujhar khaira is absolutely massive.
— josh gladu (@joshgladu) November 29, 2015
— NHL debuts (@nhldebuts) November 29, 2015