MATRICULATION

slepyshev williams

The scouting report on Anton Slepyshev implied the Oilers were acquiring a pretty dynamic player, and the coaching staff in Edmonton were excited about him in the fall. It has been a tough season in North America, but is he on track as a prospect?

Let’s forget about the impressive training camp (7, 2-2-4) and the NHL time—the Oilers often keep players they should send to the minors—and look at his progress this season compared to the KHL campaign he posted in 2014-15.

SLEPYSHEV 2014-15

  • Boxcars: 58GP, 15-10-25 in regular season
  • Breakdown: 14 goals at even strength, one on the power play
  • SOG: 129 (11.6 shooting percentage, 2.22 shots-per-game)
  • TOI/game: 12:25
  • Points-per-60: 2.08
  • NHLE (Regular season): 82GP, 17-11-28

We are unable to completely duplicate these numbers, but there is a site that gives us an estimate of AHL time and it can be a helpful guide. Source

SLEPYSHEV 2015-16 (BAKERSFIELD)

  • Boxcars: 44GP, 12-8-20 in regular season
  • Breakdown: eight goals at even strength, four goals on the power play
  • SOG: 104 (11.53 shooting percentage, 2.36 shots-per-game)
  • TOI/game: 14:41 (ESTIMATE)
  • Points-per-60: 2.33
  • NHLE (Regular season): 82GP, 12-8-20

The NHL equivalencies in both seasons seem to suggest we are looking at a complementary offensive player in the NHL. It is important to keep in mind that Slepyshev is young (21) and this is his first North American season—and there was an injury issue. Source

Still, these numbers offer us a guide and based on the math we are getting an idea about him offensively. It would probably be necessary for Slepyshev to bring more than just offense in order to survive at the next level. Let’s go back and see what they were saying on draft day.

slepyshev williams1

COREY PRONMAN, SPRING 2013

  • Slepyshev was passed over in last year’s draft, mostly due to
    signability concerns. Despite being ranked 17th in last year’s Hockey
    Prospectus draft rankings, he falls to 45th this season, simply due to
    the depth of the draft class. He is an above-average skater, with
    agility and free movement, as his shiftiness makes him hard to check. He
    has a plus shot and he knows it, as his mentality is often shoot-first,
    even from distance. He can still make plays, and he does not have
    tunnel vision, but his playmaking skills are not his best element. His
    physical game has progressed, and he has added strength since last
    season. He can protect pucks moderately well. He will display physical
    effort, although it could be better at times. He also needs to work on
    his defensive game.

That pre-draft description by Pronman compares well to the coach’s words last fall:

  • Todd McLellan: “Yes. When I look at his game,
    and I watched the video again—the video doesn’t lie. He did a lot of the
    things we worked on today in the game. He’s a young player but he’s
    played pro hockey before. You can see it, he’s been around pro players
    for awhile.”
  • Todd McLellan: “He has the ability to play a
    heavy game and use his shot. He’s played with speed guys and with
    grinders … he’s getting better night after night and he’s really opening
    the coaches’ eyes.”
    Source

IN HIS OWN WORDS

  • Slepyshev on what he needs to do in order to get back to the NHL:
    “When the Oilers management sent me down to the AHL to play in
    Bakersfield they clearly let me know what I did well and what I needed
    to work on. I took what I needed to work on and have been developing
    those skills in the AHL. In my time in the AHL, I
    have learned to think faster on the ice and make quicker decisions. I
    also learned how to play stronger and win battles against the boards. I
    now understand what a smart decision in this kind of hockey is and I
    understand what an unwise decision is. I am trying to find the keys to
    success in this league. I have been working on things that will
    translate into points. Points are what I really lack.
  • Source

He is 5-6-11 in his last 14 games (NHLE: 82gp, 34 points) and has 38 shots (2.71 shots-per-game) in that time. It is unlikely he will get a playoff series to show more, so the final five games of the year take on greater importance. It will be interesting to see what Slepyshev does in those games, and how Edmonton projects him into the future. At points in the season, he appeared to be close—and management expressed exactly that sentiment. Has a long, difficult first year pro helped his cause?

Slepyshev photos by Mark Williams.

    • Hockey Buddha

      That is a nice group bubbling under, but the stock of players is scant beyond that. Platzer is maybe a guy to keep an eye on. Pitlick could fill out a fourth line role, but he isn’t offensive enough to be overly intriguing. Chase didn’t have a poor season in the ECHL, and I hope he’s ready for the AHL next season. Moroz needs to focus more on his hockey skillset, if he wants to make it. Someone needs to tell him that fighting alone won’t get him to the NHL; those days are all but gone.

      Our farm system has been well picked over by the parent club. Hopefully the lineup can be replenished in the next few seasons at the draft this summer. I think the College ranks have to be used for the short term.

      We have some solid young defenders coming up in the system (Bear, Paigin, Jones), who still make me smile at what happened in the late rounds of the 2015 draft.

      Klinkhammer had a good season and played consistently well in the AHL. I think an expansion situation might help out his career. He had some impressive games as an Oiler this season, but he has to bring that game consistently to be effective.

  • Boom or Bust

    I root for all our prospects. Good players are what we need. The more we have- the better our team becomes..or the more pieces we have to trade… Plus who doesn’t love surprises!!

  • toprightcorner

    Slepyshev needs to shoot more, and doing that the last 15 games has really shown on the scoresheets. I like him but I don’t see him as more than a 3rd line player, which is fine, except Yakimov also projects 3rd line and and JK is no better than a 4th liner. It is great to develop these players but they really need to do better at drafting players the will develop into 2nd and possible top line players. That is what makes the Condors roster very unflattering as far as talent and developing players to make the jump and will make an impact.

  • Jaxon

    KHL 1st overall Slepyshev (who Pronman had ranked #17 in his draft year) ended last season with 11G, 5A and 16 PTS in his last 25GP. That works out to an NHLE of around 40. At 21, he’s 1.5 yrs older than Draisaitl and a half year younger than Yakupov, and 3.5 months younger than Reinhart. Still a very exciting prospect in my books.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    McDavid, Drai, Nuge.

    Trade Eberle for Hamonic.

    Trade Mathews for OEK.

    OEK – Sekera

    Hamonic – Klefbom

    Nurse – Davidson

    Reinhart – Gryba

    Top Five Defense, Great Goaltending, Elite Coaching, Depth up the Middle.

    Here’s hoping to a off season that ends with this lineup.