The Oilers aren’t making the playoffs. Oilersnation is, sadly, too familiar with being out of the playoff race before Valentine’s Day, but let’s make one thing clear:
Trading Leon Draisaitl makes no sense.
1. On Saturday night The HNIC panel discussed Connor McDavid being the only untouchable on the Oilers. Of course he is, but Kelly Hrudey and Nick Kypreos mentioned the Oilers should listen to offers on Draisaitl. They mentioned a team offering a goalie, a defender and two picks. Well, when was the last time we saw a trade like that occur? We haven’t. If he is dealt it will be for three or four pieces, but none of them will be as good straight up as Draisaitl. I see zero reason to trade Draisaitl.
2. I really respect Elliotte Friedman. You can tell he works extremely hard and he is well connected. He was the one who said he wouldn’t move Draisaitl. I agree. As he explained:
“The reason I wouldn’t do (trade) Draisaitl is he had a great year last year. He had a great playoff against a team a lot of players hide against, that’s Anaheim. The beginning of the year he got a concussion and it ruined his season. He’s not the same player. The biggest problem in the NHL right now is that too many people are impatient. We saw a dominant player last year, we saw a guy whose season got ruined this year, I would take a chance (on him). If you trade Draisaitl, that’s a hard trade to win. I would give that guy at least another year to prove this season was a fluke in the wrong direction.”
I agree with not trading him, but I disagree with Elliotte’s belief this has been a ruined season for Draisaitl. I keep hearing it from many places, but I disagree. Sure, he hasn’t been as dominant at times like he was last season, but he hasn’t been bad, and if this is a ruined year, what is a good year?
3. Draisaitl has 40 EV points this year. He is tied for eighth in the NHL with John Tavares and Anze Kopitar, and they have played seven and five more games respectively. The only players in the top-33 in EV scoring who are 22 years of age and under are Draisaitl, McDavid (47 pts), Nathan MacKinnon (42 pts) Matt Barzal (41), Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews (38) and Brayden Point (35). Draisaitl is seven points behind the league-leader in EV points and many believe he has had a bad season. I just don’t understand. The only reason he isn’t higher in scoring is because the powerplay has been dreadful. He only has six PP points. If you want to say he has struggled somewhat on the PP, I’d agree with that, but I disagree with the premise he has had an off year. Sure, he could have been a bit more consistent, but despite all of that he is still top-ten in EV scoring.
4. He’s even 26th in points-per-game, despite barely registering any of the “easier” powerplay points. In fact he has a higher points-per-game this year than last. Any talk of trading Draisaitl should be shut down immediately. The Oilers will lose the trade. Virtually every team who trades an elite point-producer loses the trade: Phil Kessel, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Joe Thornton are recent examples. Can you name the last team who traded away a young, elite offensive player and won the trade? I know Boston deatl Kessel and got two first rounders, but they needed the Leafs to be brutal for two full years to get a #2 and #9 pick. Extremely rare, and the Oilers sure as hell don’t need to wait for two more years to improve.
5. This year we have had 14 games where a player scored five points, the most since 13 in 2010/2011. Mitch Marner was the most recent on Saturday night joining McDavid, Alex Killhorn, Ryan Pulock, Patrick Kane, Patrice Bergeron, Tomas Vanek, Gabriel Landeskog, Artemi Panarin, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Hartman and Mathew Barzal, who has done it three times in his rookie season.
6. Since 2010/2011, including playoffs, we have had 72 situations where a player scored five points. Evgeni Malkin has done it five times with Barzal, while Vanek and Brad Marchand have done it three times. Pittsburgh fans have seen 12 five-point games from seven different players: Malkin, Sidney Crosby (2), Phil Kessel, James Neal, Nick Bonino, Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz. The Islanders and Oilers are next with six 5+ point games.
7. Only three players have scored five points in a playoff game over the past eight years. Claude Giroux had six versus the Penguins in 2012, Derrick Brassard had five for the Rangers in 2015 versus Tampa Bay and Draisaitl had five last spring against Anaheim. Giroux’s six points were the second-most (regular season or playoffs) in the past eight years, matched by Dallas’ Jamie Benn on November 14th, 2013 in Calgary, while Sam Gagner is the only player to score eight points. He was with Edmonton when he lit up Chicago on February 2nd, 2012.
8. Barzal is only the fourth player since 2000 to have three 5-point games in a season. Alex Ovechkin had three in 2007/2008, Crosby had three in 2009/2010 and Malkin had four in 2011/2012.
9. I was asked yesterday if a team has ever had the Art Ross Trophy winner, but missed the playoffs and had a top-five pick. In 2013 shortened season, Marty St.Louis won the scoring race, but the Lightning had the third worst record. They picked Jonathon Drouin third overall. In 1988, Mario Lemieux led the league with 168 points, but the Penguins missed the playoffs and had the fourth overall pick. They weren’t that bad though. They actually had the 12th most points in the NHL, but finished sixth in the Patrick Division. In 1988, the top four teams in each division made the playoffs, and the Penguins had more points than nine other teams, but didn’t get in.
In Crosby and Ovechkin’s rookie seasons, Ovechkin finished third in scoring with 106 points, while Crosby was sixth with 102. The Penguins picked second and the Capitals picked fourth. So yes, Connor McDavid could win the scoring race and the Oilers could have a top-five pick. I’m sure some in Oilersnation just threw up in their mouth reading that. My apologies.
10. Crosby scored his 400th and 401st NHL goals last night. He is the only the fifth active player with 400+ goals joining Alex Ovechkin (591), Patrick Marleau (526), Rick Nash (433) and Marian Gaborik (403). Crosby is now 95th all-time in goals and will race Nash and possibly Ilya Kovalchuk (417) who wants to return next year, to become the 46th player in NHL history to score 500. If you had to bet today, would you take Nash, Kovalchuk or Crosby?
QUICK HITS BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL
Let’s show Vegas something they’ve never seen before—Alberta hockey fans.
Enter the Vegas Breakaway for a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas and tickets to a Golden Knights game. Enter to win at atb.com/vegas
Recently by Jason Gregor:
- GDB 53.0: Rekindling the Rivalry
- Hockey Heroes: A Journey to Canada
- GDB 52.0: Conquer the Kings
- Oilers finally waking up?
- Game Day Quick Hits: Oilers vs Lightning
- Sekera on ACL, Montoya on Preparation
Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 02/12/2018 – 9:00am MST