SEKERA SECOND SEASON

SEKERA

When Peter Chiarelli signed Andrej Sekera to a free-agent contract in the summer of 2015, Oilers fans were hopeful, but history taught the Nation that these ‘just money’ additions can be a sticky wicket. Coming up on two years later, how do things look?

Andrej Sekera solved a major problem for the Edmonton Oilers summer 2015. The team missed on signing their own two-way defenseman (Jeff
Petry) but grabbed a damned good one just a few months later. How has he looked since he arrived?

One way to look at it is through a variety of numbers, including time-on-ice (coaching staffs run with their best defensemen), scoring numbers (less important for defensemen, but it has value) and possession numbers.

ANDREJ SEKERA IN A BOX

SEKERA STATS

Sekera spent time with the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angles Kings in 2014-15, and in Edmonton the past two seasons. In three seasons, Sekera’s playing time (per game) has remained the same, although his time in each game discipline has changed by season. Notice the blip in 5×5/60 production in his first Edmonton year, and then a nice spike in his second Edmonton season. Power play production in Edmonton has been consistent for Sekera over two seasons. 

In his 2014-15 season (Carolina and Los Angeles) and year one with Edmonton, his primary points (goals plus first assists) at 5×5 suggested mid-level production:

  • 2014-15: 2-4-6 in 73 games
  • 2015-16: 1-3-4 in 81 games
  • 2016-17: 4-6-10 in 55 games
  • Source

Sekera’s total (4-6-10) in 2016-17 has spiked in a good way. He ranks behind Oscar Klefbom, who has seven goals and six primary assists (13 points). Where does that number rank these men in terms of the entire NHL?

PRIMARY POINTS BY DEFENSEMAN 2016-17 (5×5)

  1. Brent Burns 28
  2. Erik Karlsson 16
  3. Dougie Hamilton 15
  4. John Carlson 14
  5. Dustin Byfuglien 14
  6. Dmitri Orlov 13
  7. Oscar Klefbom 13
  8. Ivan Provorov 13
  9. Victor Hedman 13
  10. Nick Leddy 13
  11. Mike Green 13
  12. Tyson Barrie 12
  13. Jeff Petry 12
  14. Seth Jones 12
  15. Brady Skjei 11
  16. Jared Spurgeron 11
  17. Jacob Trouba 11
  18. Alex Pietrangelo 11
  19. Ryan Ellis 11
  20. Matt Niskanen 10
  21. Colton Parayko 10
  22. Andrej Sekera 10
  23. Morgan Rielly 10
  24. Andrew MacDonald 10
  25. Justin Faulk 10
  26. Nick Holden 10
  27. Cam Fowler 10
  28. Kevin Shattenkirk 10
  29. Duncan Keith 10
  30. Johnny Boychuk 10
  31. Andrei Markov 10
  32. Source

Klefbom is an emerging talent, this is a nice number to follow and see if it can be repeated. For Sekera, this might be a career season in this regard. Even in 2013-14 with Carolina, when he posted 34 points, only 11 were primary points.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Lately, whenever I see something that involves good production in Edmonton 5×5, I am tempted to credit Connor McDavid. That could be the case, but even with that, it is important to place defensemen with 97 who can help with the offense.

  • Oscar Klefbom with Connor McDavid 2-3-5 in 314 minutes
  • Andrej Sekera with Connor McDavid 4-4-8 in 316 minutes

Yesterday, when Peter Chiarelli talked about the deadline, he didn’t spend much time on the power-play quarterback. Part of that is the available talent pool, but there is some evidence that the solution might—at least in part—be available on the current roster.

It has been a nice progression for Andrej Sekera in Edmonton.

  • Spydyr

    I’m not sold on the shin pad assassin being the long term answer for the powerplay quarterback.I would put my money on Chia making a move this summer.

    • Hemmercules

      Going off what Chia said recently about the Oilers not being a contender i would venture to guess his shopping list is much bigger than only a PP quarterback. More out the door and more new names next year I’m sure. I’m interested to see how many picks get traded considering they have pretty much all of them (but that second from hiring chia) and all the talk about weak draft. I will be surprised to see Poo, Ebs and Nuge all on the team next season. Even two of them.

        • btrain

          Perhaps he trades these guys due to performance issues, but if he is any good as a GM and I think that he is, their height, how much they weigh, and how many hits/fights they have is further down the priority list when it comes to a top 6 forward. Points are much more valuable in those roles and if that’s the reason they don’t fit the mold, fair enough. But if they live up to their expectations (I.e. scoring while not being a liability), I think they fit a “Chia built” team just fine. He may have an preference for big players but his priority is winning. A balanced line up is the way to do that.

    • Keepyourstickontheice

      Fair, but it sure is nice to see that he’s performing so well. He looks like a top 2 defenceman right now, and I was skeptical that we were going to get that when he was signed.

      Shame he has a NMC though, he’d make a pretty decent bargaining chip to send back in return for a different D man.

      • FISTO Siltanen

        What Chiarelli has done well – and probably doesn’t get enough credit – is leave an out with his, so far, two big money contracts.

        Sekeras has 2 more years after this one at which point his NMC turns into a a modified NTC – he submits a list of 15 teams he’ll go to. Plenty. Plus, because he’s being paid an extra million this year and last his last two years are the cheapest. So some budget team that might want a competent defence man who comes with an extra cap cushion to help them get to the floor will be seen as a bonus.

        Same can be said with Lucic. He’s got 4 more years after this one before his NMC turns into a modified-NTC. July 1st 2021 he’ll be paid an upfront signing bonus leaving like $6M on his final two years of his deal – with a $6M a season cap hit for each year.

        Again, an attractive contract for the right team.

  • Ever the Optimist

    Year 2 has been great but I reserve the right to judge till year 4, 5 and 6. He could maintain his level of play through those years but will be on the down slide likely by that point. Don’t get me wrong as he has been a big key to this years success and I just hope we don’t end up paying 5.5 cap hit for an untradable bottom pair guy.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    During his time in Boston did Chiarelli ever approach anyone on his team and ask them to waive their NTC/NMC?

    I know Brian Burke would never dare to broach the subject with anyone but I could see the time coming when one or two bodies will be tapped and asked how the Oilers can help with the next chapter of their hockey career.

  • Looch#27

    Sekera has been phenomenal all year starting in the WC and has continued all season. Good Dmen age like fine wine so baring injury I’m thinking his contract is looking dang good. He’s been our best dman this year and imo looks to be trending up he sure carried
    Chara in the WC

    My spelling 🙁

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Sekera is a big part of a defence that works for us. i see no need for the Oilers to screw it up now or in the foreseeable future, unless a drafted d-man like Jones or Bear comes along and is lights out.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      hey look what he’s doing for the Pens! he’s finally being used properly and not as a top 2 d-man which he’s shown he can’t handle. he appears to be a bottom 3 but gets a ton of time on the PP. that my friends is how the clueless Oilers *should* have been using him here.

  • paul wodehouse

    …from my own just because department

    tonites tilt with the flyers should include a hex or spell on BOTH Del Zotto AND Manning every time they come to Etown to play … they BOTH should have to endure TWO MONTH injuries for what they did unnecessarily to 97 last season …

    *#ck you both and here’s hoping you recover from your unfortunate mishaps while playing tonite pw

  • Cubro

    I drew this up earlier and thought it looked intriguing. Draisaitl + Davy + 1st for Subban.

    Sekera – Subban
    Klef – Larsson
    Nurse – Benning

    That looks like a deep blueline. Just need to figure out how to afford subban and mcd

    • giddy

      Call me crazy, but I’m not even certain I would do straight up Drai for Subban. I’m not saying that Draisaitl is any sort of better player than Subban, but the way our offence essentially relies on McD and Drai, and then Subban’s ridiculous contract makes it hard to do. Though man would I love PK on our d corp, especially for the PP.

      The other thing is we don’t even know where Draisaitl’s ceiling is going to be. He’s still so young at just turning 21 at the beginning of this season. As well, every season so far he elevates his game so much. Just looking at his numbers:

      2014/15: 9 pts in 37 games
      2015/15: 51 pts in 72 games
      2016/17: 50 pts in 57 games

      Then factor in how he seems very dedicated and hard working towards fixing areas he perceives to be weaker areas of his game, how he’s already shown to be good in the dot, and additionally already big and strong on the puck (and he’s only going to get stronger), Draisaitl is one helluva player to replace.