Early this month, the Edmonton Oilers made a substantial addition to their prospect list by signing Drake Cagguila. Or at least that is what I choose to believe. The cynical observer might argue that Peter Chiarelli hired another youngster to insert directly onto the NHL roster. Which one is it?

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The first thing we all do after a new signing is check out the vitals, the boxcars and the scouting report. Here goes:

  • Cagguila is 21 (turns 22 in June) and is a small forward by modern NHL standards (5.10, 185 via Elite Prospects).
  • He went 39gp, 25-26-51 at UND a year ago, the NHLE is 82gp, 22-22-44. That is a strong number, even for a player who is a little older prospect entering pro.
  • NHLE via Christian Roatis magic toy.
  • Scouting Report from Elite Prospects: A smart, skilled, and gritty buzzsaw of a winger that gets up and down
    the ice with focused drive. His mobility is elite, and his first three
    steps propel him to top speed quickly. Defensively, he is very active
    and can contain the opposition by limiting their chances in the slot.
    Offensively, he can be uncontainable, consistently displaying excellent
    vision and individual puck skills; can act as both the passer or the
    shooter in any given situation.
  • Source

There is more to the scouting report, please click through and read it when you have a minute.


The NHL equivalency and the fact he is 22 suggests to me we will see a competitive player at NHL training camp this fall. The following items could contribute to Cagguila’s spending extended time with Edmonton in 2016-17:

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  • The Oilers trade Benoit Pouliot for defensive help.
  • Cagguila develops exceptional chemistry with one of the three centers (McDavid, Nuge, Leon) who will pivot the skill lines.
  • The coach takes a liking to him.
  • He fills the net in camp.
  • Injuries hit.
  • He fills the net in Bakersfield.

Any of those things (or any combination) could conspire against the Oilers wishes to send Cagguila down (should that be their approach to this player) and keeping him there. A mature NHL team—say the Detroit Red Wings—would place Cagguila in a position to succeed and keep him there until they are sure of him.


condors opening night 2015-16

Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan tried, they really did. Opening night in the AHL, you see Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl front and center. Lack of depth and balance conspired against the two men at the head of Edmonton’s decision making, but the smart bet is that Cagguila will start in the minors and work his way to the show. If this happens, Oilers Nation should regard that development as a very good sign for the future.

How long will he be there? We may know this summer—if Pouliot is dealt and no other winger is added, then Lauri Korpikoski will be the veteran the young man needs to beat in order to play on a significant line. Based on this young man’s resume, that does not appear to be a high bar.

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      • camdog

        Double shift RnH…Yikes next season I hope he can just play his shift for an entire season, never mind double shifting him. You might not remember this but back in Renney’s day he caught a lot of flack for running Eberle at 17:30 minutes a night by management and some media. It’s not a surprise that Eberle and Hopkins both had there best season in 2011-12.

        If I’m running anybody double shift, it’s Hall. He’s been able to maintain production when given more minutes.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    unless he shows he’s NHL ready right away, a so called “mature” NHL team would probably put him in the AHL for a minimum of 1 year, bring him up for a look see late in the season, then give him a chance to make the team the following year. if he doesn’t, back to the AHL.

  • Oilerchild77

    I’m curious…why would the Oilers trade Pouliot? He’s cheaper and likely less desired than the three 6M dollar players are. They’re not going to get a strong defender in return for him, unless they package him up with other players/picks that I don’t think the organization can afford to part with, considering their embarrassing lack of quality depth.

    Furthermore, Pouliot has played fairly well his first two seasons with the team. He’s a quality veteran player, which is something they need more of.

    • According to a few sources, a Yak+Poo for Vatanen deal was nearly done, until Poo wrecked his shoulder. That is a deal I make all day, Pouliot is a good player no doubt about it, but if a trade like that comes about again I think you have to make it if you are chia.

      Regarding Caggiula – definitely pulling for this guy. The oilers over the past ten years have epicly failed in unearthing prospects of value either from later rounds in the draft or college FAs. The reason for the perennial suck is not the ‘core’ – we have no Marchand’s, Gallagher’s, etc. players with drive and grit overlooked purely because of their size. Guess who was overlooking them in favour of drafting a shiny new coke machine? The oilers.

      • The Whispererer

        The only reason Vatanen might be available is because Anaheim has 5 RFA to re-sign this summer and they operate with an internal CAP which doesn’t have space to sign them. It makes absolutely no sense that they would be interested in moving him while taking on $6.5 million in Pouliot and Yak. It is much more likely that they will move him to one of the several teams that has an extra 1st round pick to give up.

        The Leafs would jump all over that opportunity.

        • Randaman

          This also makes sense due to the Leafs being absolutely loaded with picks this year. Buffalo has lots as well.

          The expansion draft makes draft picks much more valuable this year. Teams will want to get something of value for players that they can’t sign for whatever reason rather than losing them in the expansion draft for nothing.

          This is why the Oilers shouldn’t trade the #4 unless they get absolute top value for it.

          • The Whispererer

            Very true. The Leafs are also not alone in having an extra pick plus having a need for RHD. Arizona has NYR pick and needs a RHD with Stone out until December. Boston has San Jose pick; Carolina has LA pick; Winnipeg has Chicago pick and might be interested in trading for Lindholm instead, thus leaving Anaheim to re-sign Vatanen.

          • The Whispererer

            All you need is basic reading and comprehension skills. Read The Roundup posted on May 27th and focus on the article about the Leafs offer-sheeting Vatanen.

          • Captain McTowel

            You base that from a Leafs Blogger who thinks the following? ….

            ” Shea Weber
            /ʃeɪ Webɜːr /
            1. Overrated defenseman for the Nashville Predators
            2. Undeserving holder of a place on the 2016 World Cup of Hockey for Team Canada.
            verb “

            Leafs fans are more delusional than us Oiler fans…

          • The Whispererer

            I’m not going to serve as your tutor and lead you by the nose to the multitude of sources that indicate Anaheim doesn’t spend to the CAP. People learn best by doing their own research.

            Even if they did spend to the CAP they would not be able to sign all their RFA.

          • Captain McTowel

            I never asked you to tutor me on how to come to my own conclusions and report them as facts…

            Teams come up up with creative ways to work around the cap all the time. I’d love to poach some of these guys off of other teams. I don’t know the inner workings of an NHL team and I’ll never claim to know that I do. I’ll also never make a bold statement in regards to how a team operates while dreaming of the possibilities that come along the way.

          • Randaman

            The Ducks are a budget team that doesn’t spend to the cap! This is a well known fact. At least I thought so.

            Try watching play-off coverage. It was mentioned many times.

    • S4H1

      He’s injury prone, he’s slightly over-paid, and at times he frustrates his coaches. Good player, but his money would be more appropriate for a defenseman like Vatanen.

      A better question is: why do people want to ditch any of the $6 million players? Hall is vastly under-paid. Eberle is a top-end scorer, and Nuge is a skilled CENTER who puts an emphasis on his defensive game.

      Everybody is trade-able (except HIM). Edmonton should try to avoid surrendering high-end assets. Pouliot is not a high-end asset.

  • madjam

    Due to the caliber of our supporting staff , he may get a good look to start the season like Slepychev got last year on third line or 4th perhaps ,as Hall and Maroon will most likely occupy top 6 duties if Pouliot traded . If Pouliot and Hendicks retained then AHL seems inevitable .

  • Ever the Optimist

    if a deal can be made with pouliot, yakupov and vatanen being pieces then it is an option well worth looking at. Veteran wingers are available in free agency to replace pouliot and yakupov at less than the current 6.5.

  • Just facts

    A mature team will let the player show you what they are capable of and then act accordingly. No one has seen him play against pros yet so trying to judge the best course now is pure speculation. To those that seem to imply that Detroit would have him spend a lengthy period in the AHL I believe Dekeyser went straight from college to playing before the NHL season was over. Different players but the so called Detroit model of development has variations depending on the player and team need.

  • madjam

    Seeing as L.A. stripped D.Brown of the captaincy because they want to go in a different direction , should Oilers offer to trade for him if L.A. covers 1/3 his salary ?

  • dsanchez1973

    “A mature NHL team—say the Detroit Red Wings—would place Cagguila in a position to succeed and keep him there until they are sure of him”

    Danny Dekeyser: “signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on March 29, 2013. He began playing for Detroit one week later”

    Detroit is like every other team – if a player is the best fit for the position, he plays in the NHL. Their “overripe system” is a big sill myth.

  • madjam

    Who would win this trade : Tyson Barrie for D.Nurse ? Would a sweetener of swapping picks get a deal done ? 4th to 10 th in a swap .

    Would something similar work for Faulk , if Nurse was the bartering chip ?

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Just switching gears here but if we trade Eberle why wouldn’t we sign a vet like Loui Erikkson. He got 30 goals last year . I’m sure that’s enough to make up for Eberle.

    Maybe he has a connection with Chiarelli and the chance to play with McDavid might be enough.

    If he is looking for anything more than 3 years I would say no.

  • madjam

    Eakins has been reported to have said :”.. he knows what went on in the locker room and no one else does” . Is their quite a division on team out of the public domain and even media that manifests in the locker room ? Does that division still exist to a harming effect of team cohesion , etc.?

    • camdog

      Well you had a young team, the kids were expected by management to lead the team and they weren’t ready to lead. The coach whom generally takes on the primary leadership duties was a rookie at the NHL level and was unable to provide the leadership required of the job. After the loses mounted up some players quit on the coach and the team. When you listen to the new coach and he calls certain players out, well you get an idea of what was going during the two years before that.

      There is a reason why the new coaching staff and GM are going to name Connor McDavid captain of this team to start the new season. Yes he’s young, but he hates to lose and he won’t quit on anybody.

      • madjam

        If I am not mistaken Ference was expected to teach them how to get better , as the youth was not ready to take over team .When losses mount up most players start losing the energy level to get to another level over the course of a long losing season . That’s not uncommon , and even TM had problems getting team motivated during parts of season . They all do not like to lose .

  • Hockeyfan

    Nobody wants Pouliot at 4 mil. Avs won’t trade their #1 dman for Nurse, who had a below average year as all oil players do every year. Start thinking huge overpay on your trade proposals, teams aren’t lining up to help the Oil. Drake will be in top 6 this year with the way Oilers develope players after Drai crashes and burns.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      you Cal-Gary fans make me laugh! your team is every bit as bad as ours was last year, yet you come here and tell us how bad OUR team is like we don’t already know this? we fans actually knew what was wrong with this team before the Old Boys Club former management team did and before Katz got a clue! Flames = LOL!!

        • camdog

          Maybe you should set your target a bit higher. Bragging about what the Flames have done the last 10 years is sort of like the guy that finishes 22nd in the race and then run up and down the track all happy about beating the other 8 guys in the race…

    • camdog

      You might consider Barrie a number one dman but I’ll guarantee that nobody in Colorado values him that high. In Colorado last season he was playing in the number 2 to 3 slot and that’s where he belongs. If they decide to trade him because they can’t get a deal done that fits their budget a deal involving Nurse would definitely have them thinking (would be more to the deal though).

      Pouliot at 4 million means the Oilers would have to take back another forward at 4 million. So yes trading him doesn’t really change things up much.

  • Pritchard

    News flash : Teams aren’t lining up to help ANY TEAM get better. I’ll never understand why some fans think it’s just the Oilers that Gms won’t help. I’m gonna say this one time and hopefully no one else will post ” nobody’s helping the oilers ” NHL GMS ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN HELPING THEIR OWN TEAM IMPROVE. ok…let’s turn the page now…