The Stock Market

As the Oilers close in on the end of the pre-season it’s time to take a look at which forwards have helped their stock and which ones haven’t.

Connor McDavid:


Is this even possible? Not only has he used his luscious locks to become Edmonton’s MR. GQ but he’s also producing as well as we all expected. I’m pretty sure McDavid has kept it in cruise control for about 95% of the pre-season and he is still doing whatever he wants out there.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins:

STOCK: No Change

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been solid so far in the pre-season. I don’t think he’s been spectacular but he certainly hasn’t been underwhelming by any stretch of the imagination. I think Nuge is ready to play for real. Nuge don’t give a damn about no damn pre-season.

TY Rattie:


Up, up, up and away for Ty Rattie. The former Winterhawk has caught fire and he hasn’t be relying solely on McDavid. If Rattie’s stock continues to rise I wouldn’t be surprised if McLellan eventually decides to move him up to the top power-play unit.

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Leon Draisaitl:


It’s been an underwhelming pre-season for the big German but I wouldn’t be too concerned just yet. I have faith in Draisaitl being able to drive his own but I know some of you disagree with me and you are probably getting all of your “I told you so tweets” ready to roll. He’ll be fine, but with that being said I do have high standards for him and he’s left me wanting more over the past couple of weeks.

Milan Lucic:

STOCK: No Change

The good news is that Milan Lucic does look a little bit better than he did last year but I still haven’t seen enough to actually believe he belongs on the second line. I have no problem with the coaching staff giving a veteran the benefit of the doubt to start the year but I do think he will eventually settle into a third line role with Ryan Strome.

Kailer Yamamoto:


I’m still not ready to say that Yamamoto is a lock to be in the opening night line up. He hasn’t taken advantage of an opportunity alongside Draisaitl just yet and I’m wondering if someone else will get a look over the final couple of games. He has had an impressive pre-season though and deserves to be somewhere among the 23 names when the roster gets finalized on Tuesday.

Ryan Strome:

STOCK: No Change

Ryan Strome is giving the Oilers exactly what they have come to expect from him. I do like the way he is handling being a mentor for Jesse Puljujarvi. Strome now serves a purpose, good for him.

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Jesse Puljujarvi:


Jesse Puljujarvi looks like he is finally figuring out how dominant he can become at the National Hockey League level. Puljujarvi has had more than a handful of wow moments so far in the pre-season and we all need to remember that he is still just barely scratching the surface. I’d expect him to be on the second line by mid-November.

Tobias Rieder:

STOCK: No Change

Rieder needed something positive to happen and it did in the form of a shorthanded goal against the Coyotes. Depending on what happens with Kailer Yamamoto we could see Rieder settle in exactly where he belongs on the third line.

Jujhar Khaira:

STOCK: No Change

I’m not sure Khaira has received all of the opportunity he deserves so far in the pre-season. He’s shown some good jump on the PK but at the same time has been moved off the third line for a couple of games. At this point, it looks like Khaira and Caggiula could end up fighting for a spot on the 4th line. I like big Jujhar to win that battle.

Drake Caggiula:


Drake Caggiula is playing his way out of the opening night line up. Caggiula has yet to make an impression for me in the pre-season and he’s running out of time. I’ve completely removed him from top nine conversations. How do you say press box in Swedish?

Kyle Brodziak:

STOCK: No Change

Brodziak will be valuable to the Oilers as long as he wins face-offs and otherwise goes unnoticed.

Zack Kassian:

STOCK: No Change

Kassian is a fourth line penalty killer on this club, nothing more, nothing less. That’s just fine. You’d like him to be paid a little bit less.

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Pontus Aberg:


What little value Aberg stock may have had has pretty much dwindled away at this point. He did make some plays against the Coyotes but it may end up proving to be too little too late.

Alex Chiasson:


Chiasson’s stock is up simply because I think there is a pretty good chance he’s earned himself a contract. The big forward looks like he’s learned how to play a bottom six role but there is a little bit of offensive upside that could come in handy when injuries strike. Chiasson>Caggiula>Aberg

Slightly Too Early Projected Opening Night Lineup

Nuge – McDavid – Rattie
Lucic – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Rieder – Strome – Puljujarvi
Khaira – Brodziak – Kassian

Chiasson, Caggiula

I’m not a big stock market guy but I’d suggest buying low on Draisaitl stock right now and completely bailing on any Caggiula stock you may still have in your imaginary Oilers portfolio.

What Say You?

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Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • Johnnyo

    I’d like to see Kailer and Jesse flank Drai for a few games. Yamamoto looked good on the left side before. Both kids show solid two way capabilities.

    Let Lucic and Reider grind it out with Strome.

  • I know Caggiula is battling a sinus infection but the guy isn’t nearly established enough to be able to disappear in training camp. If Yamamoto and Rattie are on the team, which is looks like they both will be, then were does Caggiula fit? Personally, I would rather have Khaira on the 4th line than him.

    • Spydyr

      It is not just this training camp. Caggiula IMO is a AHL forward suitable for recall when the injuries inevitably occur. The Oilers just have not had enough depth. Thankfully that is starting to be addressed.

  • dsanchez1973

    It still drives me crazy that they see a guy like Brodziak and say valuable to the Oilers as long as he wins face-offs and otherwise goes unnoticed when Anton Lander was run out of town for doing exactly this.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      I think Brodziak had 30+ points last year? I may be wrong, but a 3rd or 4th liner with 30+ points that can win face-offs will be noticed… Not to mention his veteran value in the room. Brodziak stays, certainly above Aberg & Caggiula & I hope he rubs off on Kassian abit,… er,… alot.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      Ugh… Some folks just don’t pay attention. For the millionth time: Lander did not have NHL skating ability. Period. No one ran him out of town. He skated (very slowly) his own way out of town.

    • “Brodziak will be valuable to the Oilers as long as he wins face-offs and otherwise goes unnoticed”

      By that he means wins face-offs, take care of his assigntments, and not stick out in a bad way(eg.get toasted on a nightly basis or constantly taking bad penalties). Lander’s definition of “unnoticed” is looking invisible most of the time and constantly going to bench with an empty shift. Brodziak also has 847 games worth of experience and is a proven 25-30pt guy. Brodziak isn’t just above Lander, he’s above Letestu as well.

  • Glencontrolurstik

    I’d still switch Reider & Yamamoto. The latter did show OK when played on LW. I also think that paired with Pullijarvi would make a very tenacious line. As well as easing Kailer into a real NHL schedule. Not to say he can’t handle being further up, I just think it’d be a great place to start.

  • TKB2677

    What I find disappointing about a lot of Oilers fans is how quickly they want to destroy a player, especially any player that makes a decent salary. I am pretty sure it’s partly to do with jealousy and they flat out get off on making someone miserable.

    It used to be Horcoff who realistically was making a little too much money. He had a hell of a year, cashed in big time and unfortunately never quite lived up to the contract production wise. It happens ALL THE TIME on every single team year after year. But if you talk to Oilers fans, it only happens to the Oilers. Horcoff maybe made a little to much money but he was a darn good Oiler. He busted his ASS for the Oilers and gave it his all yet fans DOGGED him for years.

    The new whipping boy is Lucic. Is he making a little too much? Maybe but when he was a UFA, he was the #1 UFA forward. Many teams were after him, apparently some offered him MORE money than the Oilers. He had a big time rep around the league and when he signed he got EXACTLY market value. Loui Eriksson signed for 6 mill for 6yrs, so did Okposo who signed for 6 mill for 7 yrs. Ladd signed for 5.5 mill for 7 yrs. Lucic was a better player and IS a better player than ALL of those guys. He got the going rate. I am not a fan of the Lucic contract, I think it sucks. But every time I see someone mention that Lucic should be on the 3rd line, I question their hockey knowledge. Lucic would be in the top 6 on virtually every team in the NHL. The Oilers NEED Lucic to bounce back. If you put him on the 3rd line, you lose him. So if that is what people want, keep saying it.

    • The Ghost of Alex Plante

      This is a pretty ridiculous take. I’ll question your hockey knowledge if you think would be a top 6 player on “virtually every NHL team”. What teams would he be a top 6 LW on? I can’t really think of any. Maybe Buffalo? Even then Sheary might have him beat. Arizona? Maybe depending on how they structure their lines, because Keller, Galchenyuk, Grabner and Dvorak can all play the left side. That’s not even including Perlini who is a better player right now than Lucic. I’ll give you Detroit, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver. That’s probably it though. If those 4 are “virtually every team in the NHL” then my apologies, you are correct.

      I get the fact that you don’t like the “whipping boy” idea, I don’t either. But to be fair every group of fans has their own whipping boy. Ask a Calgary fan what they thought of Brouwer last year, ask a Vancouver fan about Eriksson. Ask a Rangers fan what they’ve thought about Rick Nash in years past. Do you want more examples? Every passionate fan base in every sport has a whipping boy. Criticism comes from the passion fans have for their team, and I don’t blame people for a second for criticizing players coaches or management when things aren’t going well. When people care about their team and things have been horrible for OVER A DECADE, people get pissed. Get over it RDO.

      • TKB2677

        I looked at the teams real quickly and I have a hard time believing that if Lucic was on their team, he would be lower than the second line on:
        Carolina, Devils, Coyotes, Canucks, Islanders, Senators, Canadiens, Hawks, Sabres, Flames, Wings, Kings, Colorado. There is almost half the league off the top of my head, excluding the Oilers. It’s probably more but I would have to really dive into their depth chart. I know what you will say. “You listed off a lot of lower end teams.” Yes I did because they are easy to do quickly. Better teams would take more time. To describe a couple who I listed. Devils – Maroon got traded and went immediately to their top 6. He’s gone, they didn’t replace him. I can’t figure out who the Hawks have on their second line.
        Kings brought over a going to be 36 yr old Kovalchuk who hasn’t played in the NHL in 7 yrs because their top 6 was so weak.
        Flames went out and signed Neal to almost Lucic money and he will be older when he is done because they didn’t have enough top 6 talent. If he was a Flame, I can’t see him being on their 3rd line.
        Colorado has MacKinnon, Rantanen, Landeskog, then I don’t know who else. Kerfoot had 19 goals, 43 pts. Soderstrom is a 3rd line line center who had 37 pts. Then Nieto was their 6th best scoring forward at 26 pts.

        • The Ghost of Alex Plante

          Lucic plays LW, so you have to look at which left wingers would be ahead of him. Let’s take a look:

          Carolina: Aho, Ferland
          Devils: Hall, Johansson
          Coyotes: See my 1st comment (Perlini, Keller, Galchenyuk, Grabner, Dvorak)
          Canucks: Agree with you, see 1st comment
          Islanders: Beauvillier, Bailey
          Senators: Agree with you, see 1st comment
          Canadiens: Agree with you, see 1st comment
          Hawks: Alright, I’ll give you the Hawks as well
          Sabres: See my 1st comment (Skinner, Sheary)
          Flames: Gaudreau, Tkachuk
          Wings: Agree with you, see 1st comment
          Kings: Pearson, Kovalchuk
          Colorado: I’ll give you the Avs as well

          So out of all the teams you listed, I already mentioned 4 of them, and I’ll give you and extra 2. That’s 6 NHL teams. So if you’re a 2nd liner on 6 NHL teams and a 3rd liner on 25 NHL teams, are you a 2nd or 3rd line player?

          • TKB2677

            I am going to drop this conversation after this response because I don’t want to get into a pissing match with you.
            I specifically said TOP 6. I did not single out a position.

            Carolina: When Ferland was in Calgary, he played the RIGHT WING. He’s even listed as a RIGHT WINGER.
            Devils: As I said, I looked at the Devils and they lack top 6 guys. Could European Johansson switch sides? Maybe, lots of Euros do. Regardless, they don’t have enough top 6 guys.
            Arizona: Galchenyuk is a center and the Yotes lack Centers. Keller is listed as a RW. Dvorak is a center, they lack centers.
            Islanders. Bailey is a RW. They are going to struggle with who they have to fill out a top 6.
            Flames: Had Ferland, who shoots left, as their RW last year. The also had Frolik who shoots left and is listed as a RW on their second line last year. They brought in Neal who shoots left but is listed as an RW. So as I mentioned in my post. If the Flames had Lucic on their roster instead of the Oilers, I really doubt he’s on their 3rd line.
            Kings. Kovalchuk who says he is an LW, is a right shot so he could play the right side easily. But as I said, IF the Kings has Lucic already, he would be in their top 6 AND they wouldn’t have gone out to bring over Kovalchuk.

    • Hockeytalkguy

      Sorry TKB, we are going to agree to disagree on your take on Lucic and oiler fans knowledge. I’m far from a Lucic hater, believe me I want him to be productive and impactful. You are right, at the time he signed he got the $ he deserved, I hated the term. The game has changed drastically in the last couple years. You can’t run a Clydesdale with a thoroughbred!

    • FISTO Siltanen

      I agree with you, man. He was on pace for 50-55 points at Christmas. He’d just scored 5-5-10 in his previous 10 games. And then his game went off the rails.

      The negativity needs to end.

  • theeskyemcleod

    I think Yamamoto will start on the 2nd line mainly because it’ll make the other lines work but ultimately I think he’ll need some AHL time. I see the lines sorting out after that something like this:


    You could flip Strome and Khaira but I liked Khaira at centre against Vancouver and I’d like to see him play more there.

    • daryl

      I would indorse this line up as long as Lucic does not constantly kill the offense and right now that is a big if. Leon looks slow and probably needs a refresher course from whom ever helped him last time.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        Lucic (when he plays like we know he still can) has a propensity to ignite an offense rather than kill it. All with his tenacious play… We WILL see more of that as the season goes on… Who cares what he’s paid, he’s great to have on the team,… up to now, anyways… Let him prove otherwise, but let him make good for last year, before blasting him off the team.

        • Kneedroptalbot

          This team is doomed if they keep gifting roster spots to players based on the Ludicrous contracts the GM signed them to, rather than their on ice performance and what they bring to the team.

    • jesse says yep

      Strome has shown that his value as a winger is minimal. He is a strong center and Khaira is very strong on the boards as a winger. These lineups look like they are forcing Jesse on the 2nd line. Yamamoto is a top 6 winger and placing Jesse on the third line with Strome will give the Oil three potential lines that can put up points. I suspect that Reider will pick up his game as we go along which will push Yama and Lucic and we may see some movement on the LW through out the year. If Yamamoto and Lucic can produce then so be it.

  • Hockeytalkguy

    Can anyone explain to me why TMc refuses to put JP and Reider with Draisaitl. Even just for a look? My goodness it took him 3 years to put RNH with McDavid. I just don’t understand how Yamamoto gets a look on the 2nd line and JP doesn’t. ( No disrespect to Yamamoto, he’s been better than I thought)

    • toprightcorner

      Because he is trying to do everything possible to get Lucic back to his old self, either to help the team or increase his trade value. Also, JP has been producing fantastic on Strome’s line, so why break that up. JP has been showing that he can drive his own line so why put him where he would start deferring to Draisaitl? It also makes sense to see Yamamoto with Draisaitl as he cannot drive his own line and the thought process is if they are considering keeping him in the NHL, they would probably rather see him in the top 6 where he is not expected to push the line but to feed off Draisaitl, having a 160 lb player with two 210+ lb players is also probably wise.

      It’s the right play in preseason. If that line doesn’t get anything done in the first 5-6 games, then you can look at making the switch, but if JP is producing well with Strome, why would you change that??

        • grumpyKoala

          Jp and Drai might be a better combo. The problem is the oils need Drai to get his linemates going and not the other way around. Looch and Drai combo have looked suspicious at best. Some synergy work better than others but right now I am not ready to put 100% of the blame on Drai linesmates. That boy need to go back to 2016 playoff shape

    • jesse says yep

      So far JP has shown that he can not even produce on the third line against NHL players. So far this year he has been doing great, against less talented players. Yes some NHLer’s but just as many AHL/bubble players. Let JP prove it on the third line against regular professionals and then move him up as needed. If needed. If Yamamoto can produce with Drai and looch, the line is better balanced with Jesse playing with Strome.

  • bwar

    You know if Caggiula had a sinus infection for most of the preseason, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and have him on the 23 man roster. Once he’s better and still sucks, I think you have to send him to the AHL. I can’t see any team picking him up.

  • Windrunner

    The problem I see is giving Lucic a starting role just cuz $6M. Disgraceful thinking just to save face for management. If he is not good enough, Wade Redden him!!!

  • El Oilero

    I think you are too harsh on Drai. Before we declare him down let’s see how he looks with some decent wingers. At the very least take Lucic off his wing as Lucic is where plays go to die.

    • Spoils

      it’s been great having the lines stay in place, but I am genuinely worried about Drai and would welcome just a teeny tiny say one period shuffle of the deck. to wake Ze German from hibernation…