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Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Call-ups: 2018-19 Season in Review

We are days away from the 2019-20 NHL preseason, and are in the thick of training camp. As we finally put the disappointing 2018-19 season behind us, we take one last look at the players who had either a cup of coffee or stayed for the full English breakfast in the NHL was a call-up.

How did they perform, and what can that tell us about their possible contributions to the 2019-20 Oilers depth as many of them compete for roster spots over the next couple of weeks? Maybe a lot, maybe nothing at all. Let’s take a look!

Josh Currie

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM
21 6 3 9 2 2 19 10.5 8:43

Decent amount of production in a very limited opportunity; an impressive amount of goals considering the ice time, and not punishing the goaltenders at all while being on the ice. He finished fourth in scoring on the Condors in the AHL (53gp 27g 14a 41pts), and some of that scoring ability seemed to follow him up from the lower pro level to the NHL.

5v5 TOI: 181:39

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
46.36 58.33 49.21 30/33 47.62 6/4 60.00 8.33 .948 1.031

Most frequent NHL linemate: Colby Cave (5v5 TOI Together: 94:22)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
48.88 50.00 56.45 20/10 66.67 3/3 50.00 6.0 .941 1.001

Showed decent chemistry playing with Cave, and seems to have been forgotten a bit in discussing re-building of the bottom six, despite success he had. Perhaps it’s because he lacks any one outstanding skill, but there shouldn’t be a reason that he wouldn’t get a fair shot at cracking the opening night lineup.


Kailer Yamamoto

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM
17 1 1 2 -6 2 13 7.7 13:04

Injuries and perhaps rushed development have hindered the hype around Yamamoto over the past two seasons, but he had a fair amount of time up with the big club but couldn’t seem to find a scoring touch.

5v5 TOI: 195:52

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
51.09 30.77 48.00 37/41 47.44 2/4 33.33 3.8 .904 .942

Most frequent NHL linemate: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5v5 TOI Together: 92:24)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
51.74 20.00 52.57 25/17 59.52 1/1 50.00 1.47 .911 .926

Somewhat surprising to see Yamamoto playing with Nuge so often, and they created a lot of chances together but owned a pathetic on-ice shooting percentage; they created an impressive amount of scoring chances, particularly in the High Danger areas, which is very promising. While James Neal has been discussed as playing on Nuge’s right wing, perhaps there’s a reason to eventually give Yamo another shot on the second line.


Caleb Jones

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM
17 1 5 6 -9 6 21 4.8 19:48

Arguably given the biggest responsibility out of the call-ups, Jones was inserted into almost a top 4 role once injuries claimed members of the Oilers’ blueline in 2019. The reviews seemed to be fairly favourable in Jones’ extended call-up, as he held his own playing against some teams best or second-best lines.

5v5 TOI: 290:28

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
46.38 36.67 52.07 44/50 46.81 5/7 41.67 9.17 .877 .968

Most frequent NHL linemate: Adam Larsson (5v5 TOI Together: 132:28)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
43.62 31.25 51.24 25/19 56.82 3/3 50.00 8.93 .863 .952

Jones has a good of a chance as anybody to earn a regular spot on the Oilers’ blueline, and his brief stint in 2019 gave some fans hope that he might be capable of doing just that heading out of camp and preseason. The most likely outcome is that Jones is the top call-up should injuries strike once again.


Brad Malone

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM FOW%
16 0 0 0 E 4 13 0.0 8:57 44.4

Played a lot and did next to nothing with the opportunity, so it begs the question as to why Malone remained with the Oilers for as long as he did.

5v5 TOI: 127:03

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
42.25 50.00 38.55 11/19 36.67 0/0 2.22 .983 1.005

Most frequent NHL linemate: Kyle Brodziak (5v5 TOI Together: 41:49)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
41.38 37.50 2/4 33.33 0/0 0.00 1.000 1.000

After the unfortunate retirement of Brodziak, so goes Malone’s most common linemate. I’m a little astonished that Malone remained with the big club for so long considering how little he contributed offensively. But, the goaltending numbers were quite good with Malone on the ice so he at least wasn’t a liability on the fourth line.


Joseph Gambardella

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM FOW%
15 0 3 3 2 2 7 0.0 8:06 75.0

The Man with the Spectacular Beard didn’t score a goal in his time with the Oilers, but was given the second-least amount of time to do so.  He finished third on the Condors in scoring (50gp 29g 19a 48pts) so showed some scoring touch at the lower pro level.

5v5 TOI: 121:24

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
38.05 60.00 35.00 12/24 33.33 2/1 66.67 14.63 .943 1.089

Most frequent NHL linemate: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5v5 TOI Together: 39:00)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
36.42 100.00 42.86 5/6 45.45 2/0 100.00 11.76 1.000 1.118

If you’re wondering about the ridiculously high goal output, Nuge and Gambardella were on the ice for two goals for, with none against. It seems like a pretty lucky result, though, considering the dearth of possession chances they had.


Evan Bouchard

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM
7 1 0 1 -5 2 10 10.0 12:21

A man who may be given the best opportunity this preseason to go from just a call-up to a main roster player. Though only 19-years-old, Bouchard is one of maybe two or three players (along with the aforementioned Jones and Joel Persson) competing for the defensive pairing on Oscar Klefbom’s right side. If the rumours are to believed, and former-Head Coach Todd McLellan had to talk former-GM Pete Chiarelli off the ledge last season from keeping Bouchard up with the Oilers all season last year, then we’d be looking at a far larger sample size.

5v5 TOI: 71:10

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
53.79 20.00 47.37 13/11 54.17 0/0 2.78 .875 .903

Most frequent NHL linemate: Kris Russell (5v5 TOI Together: 16:31)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
43.48 50.00 42.86 1/2 33.33 0/0 16.67 .900 1.067

Though there wasn’t a scoring outburst with Bouchard on the ice, the possession numbers looked pretty good for him (when he wasn’t paired with Russell), so there seems to be some sense behind the consideration of keeping him up with the Oilers. But despite the list of problems with the Oilers’ roster, defensive depth isn’t at the top of that list, so the Oilers aren’t in a desperate position to have to strap a rocket to Bouchard’s back and launch him into primetime. Discretion with Bouchard’s development, and slow-cooking him in the AHL might be the best play for his development.


Cooper Marody

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM FOW%
6 0 0 0 -5 2 6 0.0 6:55 34.6

A lot of discussion with Marody pushing for that fourth-line centre position, but he played the least amount of time out of all the call-ups, but he had a stellar AHL season, finishing behind only Tyler Benson for the team lead in points (58gp 19g 45a 64pts) so there’s hope that maybe some of that offense can translate to the NHL level (~20pts/82gms NHLe).

5v5 TOI: 40:55

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
51.22 48.65 12/6 66.67 0/0 1.000 1.000

Most frequent NHL linemate: Milan Lucic (5v5 TOI Together: 23:37)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
57.45 64.00 12/3 80.00 0/0 1.000 1.000

No goal results with Marody on the ice, but the possession numbers were very good, particularly considering he played over half his 5v5 time with Milan Lucic. Lots of positive signs for Marody heading into the preseason to claim one of those scarce bottom six spots.


Patrick Russell

GP G A P +/- PIM Shots SH% TOI/GM
6 0 0 0 E 2 6 0.0 8:47

Another player who wasn’t handed a whole lot of time or responsibility in his call-up, but had a decent season in the AHL, finishing fifth on the team.

5v5 TOI: 48:34

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
66.28 62.16 10/3 76.92 0/0 1.000 1.000

Most frequent NHL linemate: Jujhar Khaira (5v5 TOI Together: 16:21)

CF% GF% SCF% HDCF/CA HDCF% HDGF/GA HDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO
52.00 44.44 0/1 0.00 0/0 1.000 1.000

Good possession numbers, without the goal results, but created chances nonetheless. Good candidate as a top call-up throughout the season, but unlike to crack the opening night lineup.


Thoughts on the Call-ups? Who has the best chance of cracking the opening night lineup?

Comments await!

Traditional stats courtesy of nhl.com and theahl.com
Advanced stats courtesy of naturalstattrick.com
Salary Cap info courtesy of puckpedia.com