Photo Credit: Linnea Rheborg

The Five Stages of Joel Persson

I was driving into work on a cloudy Wednesday morning when I first saw the tweet.

I finished ordering a sausage breakfast wrap from Timmies and then clicked on the Elite Prospects link to find out more about Joel Persson. Not while I was driving of course.

Persson is an offensive defenseman with a great shot from the point. With high-end puck skills and vision, he excels on the power play. Not a speedster, but he owns decent mobility and can walk the blueline very well. On the downside, he is smallish and not much of a force in his own end.

Yup, it’s official. He sounds just like someone the Oilers would bring over in their search for a right shot PP specialist.

I know exactly how most of you have reacted to the news today. I give you the five stages of Joel Persson.


Peter Chiarelli could crap in a paper bag and write transaction on the outside of it and thousands of Oilers fans would be excited for at least a moment.

When you first heard the news that the Oilers may have locked up Joel Persson your mind starts running wild.

Is he the next Erik Karlsson?

At worst case scenario could he be Brian Rafalski?

Could this acquisition…wait for it…..lead to something bigger!!

Can I find him on NHL 18 and get him on the Oilers by lunch?

Do the folks at Pro-Am Sports have any signed photos of Persson?

Can you find a knock-off Persson jersey on some sketchy Chinese website?

How much is a Persson rookie card going to go for on E-Bay?

It’s all fun and games but it’s time to move on and start looking at things a little more realistically. I want to know more about this player so it’s time to hit up…..


How are you supposed to form an uneducated opinion on this player without watching 1-2 minutes of YouTube clips? Let me help you.

There aren’t a lot of Persson clips on YouTube but here is one of him getting knocked out cold. Ouch.

It’s probably time you start……


Wait a second. Persson is 24 years old, only has one year of top-level Swedish hockey experience and has never played in North America. Your mind starts playing tricks on you again.

What’s wrong with this guy?

Is this Chiarelli’s big plan?

He doesn’t skate well enough to play in the NHL. Horrible move.

He is the same size now that Nielson was in Grade 8 so there’s no way he can handle the physical play of the NHL.

How will this ruin the development of Ethan Bear?

Oh good, a smaller Phillip Larsen?

At this point, you start to guess the cap hit. You text your buddy.

“I can live with 1.2 million per” – You

“Would be better if it was 850K” – Your buddy, who probably listens to the Nielson Show

“Knowing Chia it’s 2.5 x 5. FML” – You

Who cares about the cap hit, where will he fit in on the……


Whether you are a fan of the move or not it’s time to stop messing around. Where does he fit in the lineup!!!

Is there any way Persson and Klefbom could handle things well enough defensively?

Is Darnell Nurse ready to carry a defensive liability on his pair?

Is he the perfect compliment to play with Kris Russell?

Is Andrej Sekera the veteran presence that Persson needs to develop.

So many options.  Let’s settle on this.

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell

But wait, there’s always the option that he sucks at camp and starts the year in Bakersfield. Maybe he’s the perfect guy to play down there with Yamamoto and Benson on the power-play.

It’s official. He probably doesn’t fit in so it’s time to…….


Well, clearly he’s not going to fit in here. Could they package him with someone else to land a bigger piece?

Persson plus the 10th overall pick for Ristolainen out of Buffalo?

Persson plus a second rounder for Justin Faulk?

Persson plus the 10th overall pick for the 6th overall pick.

Yes, that’s right, he hasn’t even officially signed yet but you are already running him out of town. Leave that up to my good friend Ryan Rishaug, who broke the news in the first place. I’ve gone cross-eyed.

Recently by Dustin Nielson

  • Braindead

    So Oilers locked up a D that played sheltered minutes in the SHL, has no defensive game and is undersized. Also, played on a larger ice surface.
    I would take Ethan Bear and Benning over this guy.

  • Braindead

    So Oilers locked up a D that played sheltered minutes in the SHL, has no defensive game and is undersized. Also, played on a larger ice surface.
    I would take Ethan Bear and Benning over this guy..


    Let’s add a few ufa into the mix such as grabner for the right price
    And Mike green on defence this way the new sweed can start in the ahl and only come up when ready or to cover for injuries plus it give him less pressure to adapt to the smaller ice. This give us lots of depth as long as we can afford it

    Luci.leon. pulj
    Cuj. Strome. Grabner
    Ufa. JJ k. Kassian

    Klef. Larson
    Nurse. Russel(Vet)
    Sekera(Vet). Benning
    Mike Greeen 7th
    Perrssen in Ahl.

  • percy

    From here on in,,,, how ever talented they are if they don’t play with that fire in their gut and have a strong will to win we don’t want them. This team needs more players that play to win. The management didn’t seem to have a clear vision of what type of team it takes to finish it off. They just go through the motions.

  • camdog

    Losing a quarter of the roster to the KHL and replacing a quarter of the roster with KHL players is what the organisation has been doing for over a decade. The true farce in this all is the MSM that always tries to get people excited about the future of this team in the off season so that everybody spends their hard earned income on tickets and then 2 weeks into the season realize thet’ve been sold a junker.

    I really have no opinion on either of the KHL players, I’ll make my judgement when I see them play. I’m just sick and tired of the MSM acting like puppets, trying to prop this team up so Daryl Katz can make more $$$…

  • TKB2677

    Really good article Dustin. It sums up Oilers fans perfectly and can apply to just about every single move the Oilers make.

    There is the fans who will love it because they love all moves no matter what and will pencil him in as the #1 PP guy. There aren’t a lot of fans like this.
    There will be some fans who will look at it as being somewhat positive because they look at the needs of the team but will hold off complete judgement because they like to see what happens before they react. There are some but not a lot of these fans either.

    Then were are the huge majority of fans. They are the fans who who will hate it no matter what. The Oilers have had a lot of tough years so being an Oilers fan is hard. The Oilers could trade Russell, Lucic, Sekera or who ever they currently hate for Doughty then have the Oilers sign Doughty long term for really cheap and they would hate it and say the Oilers gave too much term on the contract or that it stunts the growth of (insert young player) or they go on a tangent about the coaches turning Doughty into a terrible dman, etc. These fans have become so accustom to being negative, they can’t help it. It’s all they know. So they instantly hate on everything the Oilers do. These fans who will hate everything instantly grossly out number all other fans and if you aren’t a hater fan, the hater fans hunt you down, surround you and try to do whatever it takes to get you to hate.

    Being an Oilers fan is definitely never dull.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Do you really believe there are any Oiler fans that would be disappointed if the team could escape the Lucic contract AND add a proven impact player? I imagine that the hyperbole was intentional. If not, put down the contact cement. Also, questioning the signing of an unknown 24 year old European after the overpayment for an unknown Euro goalie doesn’t make a fan ‘negative’, just realistic. Who knows, maybe he will be Roy Hobbs; a joke, a nobody from nowhere who turns out to be the best who ever was. Only if Barry Levinson is coaching.